Noted Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan feature in ads, to spread awareness on sanitation by promoting the construction and use of toilets. Akshay Kumar too, through his movie “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, supported the construction of toilets at home. Similarly, taking charge of her family’s health, a girl from Yavatmal refused to go to school, till her father constructs a toilet in their home.
Generally, children demand chocolates or toys from their parents, but Shweta Rangari, a small child, studying in class 4 of ZP school in Yavatmal district’s Indrathana village, is unique.
She is not just a school going child. She is determined, wanted a change and ensured that she made the change start with herself.
As a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, Mr Raju Kendre, an officer in charge under the CM fellowship, screened the movie “Toilet Ek Prem Katha” in six villages and distributed 250 copies of a book named “Book On Hygienic Habits.”
The last page of the book has a calendar with a questionnaire to be filled in daily for a month by primary school students.
Shweta’s class too started filling the columns daily. Shweta marked every column, except the first column which said ‘using toilet’ that remained blank. Even in the drawing competition held, she was asked to draw a toilet’s picture which is located inside or outside the house. But how could she draw? Shweta had never seen a toilet, as there was no toilet in her house.
When Shweta didn’t turn up at school, her teachers inquired about her whereabouts. It was then that she told every one of her decision and said:“Unless and until there is a toilet constructed in the house, I will not go to school.”
After Shweta’s warning, within a week, her father constructed a toilet. Pandit Rangari, Shweta’s father, said, “I asked her why she is not going to school. To which she replied that she wouldn’t go to school till I constructed a toilet. And so I had to!”
Her family consists of her parents and two siblings. Her father works as a daily labourer, but he could not deny or crush his daughter’s wish. In spite of their poor financial conditions, her father started the construction of the toilet.
“I tried to urge people to build toilets but they were not enthusiastic about the work. I decided to rope in school kids as masons, and as a result, Shweta devoted herself to the cause and asked her father to construct a toilet. Now, the other school children are demanding to construct a toilet at their homes too. I hope Shweta’s move will push people on in the mission to create an open-defecation free India,” added Mr Kendre.
Now the community targets building 150 toilets in the next two months.
Such innovative experiments in the laboratory of the “Swachh Bharat Mission” arrives as a radiant discovery of the power of positive resistance, which later evolves into a revolutionary weapon of change.